Louth Hockey Club hope to have new playing surface in place later this year
Louth Hockey Club are hoping to have a new playing surface in place this year.
Although lockdown has hampered the project, chairman Lesley Ward is eager for the all-weather pitch to be available to benefit the club and wider community.
“This year we are desperately hoping our very aged pitch will get replaced,” she told The Leader.
“We don’t know how far over the line that’s got at the moment. We keep pushing but, of course, Covid has put a lot of things on the backburner.”
While external funding is being sought - a £5,000 donation from the RW Chapman Charitable Trust in August took the total to almost £15,000 - Louth HC have agreed to take out a loan to ensure the project will go ahead.
“At the moment it’s all in discussion, but because we are so committed to trying to get this to become a reality we have committed to taking a substantial loan out from East Lindsey District Council over a 20-year period to show our commitment to the site,” Mrs Ward added.
“It is a very community spirited club, all inclusive, and it shows through.
“From the parents to the helpers and all the children. It is a lovely club that’s long established in the town and it must carry on.
“That’s why we must get a new pitch to ensure league hockey continues to be played in Louth.”
The surface will not just be used by the club’s four senior men’s and women’s teams and junior section.
“It’s not just for the hockey club. It can be used in the week for schools or privately, and footballers use it for training as well.
“Obviously, we hope a new surface will bring new people to it as well. It can be hired out as well, it’s a huge facility for the town.”
Like many sports clubs, the past year has seen Louth HC’s match action heavily affected by Covid-19.
The club returned to action, fulfilling fixtures following the first lockdown last March, after safeguarding protocols were put into place.
But when the Coronavirus spike began the club took the decision not to travel to face rival clubs for safety reasons.
Instead, intra-club matches were held, proving so popular that there was a waiting list for members to get a game.
The third lockdown may have seen action put on hold once more, but Mrs Ward believes the hunger for hockey very much remains within the club.
She added: “We are confident that when we are given the green light to go back to playing - whether that’s in stages or not - the enthusiasm will be in the club and it will go from strength to strength.”